Happy Mother’s Day from “Mad Men.” We have an expectant mom … and Betty, mom of the year. Megan sets the future tone of her marriage, Don gets some news and Peggy gets kissed on Sunday’s (May 11) “The Runaways.”
“Because I’m going to tuck you in tonight.” — Lou Avery
Last week, Freddy Voice of Reason Rumsen asked Don if he was just going to kill himself, or do the work. This week, Don does the work, over and over again, while a blast from the past, Stephanie (Anna’s niece) returns. And in a big way.
Not surprisingly, Stephanie is a hippie, and she’s pregnant and running out of “bread,” so from the shadow of the Capitol Records building in L.A., she calls “Dick” to help. He, in turn, hops the next plane and sends her to Megan, who says she’s glad for the chance to see Don. Maybe this marriage isn’t over yet.
Except he can’t get out of New York. Lou Avery is on the war path, and Don is made to stay late, missing the final flight until the next day, and missing Stephanie in the process. But Megan has handled the situation, and Don, as Freddy told him to, is doing the work. He’s swallowing his pride.
At a party Megan throws later that evening, Megan mocks Don’s relationship with Stephanie, gossiping about him like an acquaintance and dancing with her friends (well one friend in particular,) challenging him to say something. He doesn’t. Meanwhile, out on the deck, Don looks out of place in his plaid sports coat while Megan’s friend Amy puts the moves on him. Again, he does nothing. Another adultery opportunity turned down by Don Draper. Or so you’d think at first.
But when Harry shows up with a date to the party, not realizing it’s Megan’s shindig, Don whisks him away for a drink. Harry the philandering escape hatch. Man, L.A. can be a small town.
Don just wants a quiet place to drink, but Harry wants to bond. He spills the beans that Jim and Lou are pursuing Philip Morris’ Commander cigarettes, and if they land that business, Don, who famously penned the anti-cigarette ad in the New York Times, is out.
The next morning, he runs back to New York, armed for a fight, and crashes their private meeting with Philip Morris. He offers up his own hide, and apology, for the business, while pitching himself at the same time, stressing he’s the only ad guy who ever sat down with the opposition. It’s a swift and sure broad stroke, giving himself, and Lou and Jim, credibility. As Jim sneers “you think this is going to save you, don’t you?” you know that Don is back.
“I love that you’re wearing Anna’s ring.” — Stephanie
How can anyone hate Megan? Stephanie shows up on her doorstep, and she’s the picture of gracious hostess. They actually have a beautiful connection (especially if you think they’re about the same age.)
At least until the newly honest Megan tells Stephanie the truth — that Don would probably just seek to control her and her situation — and cuts her a check for a thousand dollars. But when Stephanie reassures Megan that “nothing ever happened” between she and Don, you know Megan doesn’t believe her.
When Don finally arrives, she lies, point blank, saying she tried to get Stephanie to stay. When Don tries to put up a fight, she remains unfazed, defusing the conversation entirely, almost casually. Megan is in control here.
Especially when later that night, after her party, when she offers up herself along with her friend Amy to Don at the same. Welcome to a new frontier on “Mad Men.” Perhaps that’s how Megan will work to save their marriage: by being a willing partner in Don’s trysts. And maybe it’s that jolt that gave Don the energy to crash the Philip Morris pitch.
Stan finds a file of Lou’s amateur hour cartoons (“Scout’s Honor”) on the copier, and of course, gleefully shares them with the office. When Lou finds out about it, he continues his reign of Lou terror and orders them all to work late on a Friday night, pushing Don’s flight plans to L.A. back. Way to get on Lou’s bad (worse?) side, Stan.
“Hey, Emily Post, why were you talking about the war?” — Henry
The hostess with the mostess is a stop on a neighborhood round robin cocktail party. While her rumaki is divine, she ends up throwing out her opinion on the Vietnam conflict, and landing on the opposite side of Henry, much to the chagrin of the invited constituency. To Betty, a difference of opinion is a slap in the face, especially if you say so in front of others. A non-united front is a falsehood and a personal attack, only compounded by Henry lashing out at her, telling her to leave the thinking to him, and keep her conversation on “toast crumbs in the butter.”
Ow. Only adding to the insult is the news that Sally has accidentally hurt her nose. Henry pulls some strings to get her a nose job to fix it, and Betty scolds her for ruining her face, implying that’s the best thing she’s got going. Sally throws it back that obviously Betty’s own nose is what got her Henry the perfect (misogynist) man. Betty then says she’s going to break Sally’s arm next time.
Double ow. After sending Sally to her room, Bobby sneaks in to see her, begging her to let him run away with her, back to school. But he’s trapped. He and his constant stomachaches.
In the end, there’s no resolution between Betty and Henry, and he even challenges her to run for office herself. Now there’s a scary thought.
“STOP HUMMING! YOU’RE NOT HAPPY!” — Ginsberg
No one could possibly hate the “monolith” computer more than Ginsberg. He’s completely unhinged by the thing.
While working over the weekend, he happens to see Lou and Jim talking in the computer room. In his manic state, he runs to Peggy’s and proclaims they’re having an affair, and that in order to fight off the “homos,” they have to reproduce. Ginsberg then kisses Peggy. No one is more freaked out by this than Peggy.
Before he leaves, he says he wants her, but that she doesn’t have to report this little visit.
But it’s the next morning, and a little gift Ginsberg gives Peggy as a sign of affection, that seals his fate. In all seriousness, he presents her with his nipple, sliced off and put on cotton wool in a box, to prove his love and devotion. Computer 1, humans 0. Nipples -0.
Alas, poor Ginsberg.
Will SC&P land Commander cigarettes? Will Don’s next visit to L.A. be just as memorable? Will Ben Feldman’s new show on NBC, “A to Z,” feature both nipples?
Final thought: Mmmm. Rumaki.